Tag Archives: Nokia

Diànhuà X2 (Xīnchē xíng)

This is not a name, it is not a brand and it is not a weapon system, Diànhuà is Chinese for ‘telephone’ plain and simple. The issue is that we need to start learning words that we normally never would have learned. Anyone who has spent time in a dojo in Eastern China (aka Japan) or perhaps in Thailand or in Indonesia knows this. You see when you start your path in Karate you learn the word ‘構え’, and you think, ‘I am learning the secrets of the universe‘ and that is how it feels, yet in Japanese it merely means ‘stance’ and that is what you did. In Pencak Silat, we learn the word ‘Pukul’, which translated Indonesian comes over as ‘Hit it’, which is exactly what you did; you punched it/him/her.

Simplicity is key here and what we might consider to be gibberish actually makes sense soon after we take more than 10 minutes of effort to see what information we are confronted with. When we start looking closer at the Huawei issues we see a lot to be concerned about. Not unlike Jeffrey Sachs, I had my issues with the Huaweian executive arrested in Canada. Apart from the fact that the United States does not get to set policy for other nations, the fact that China has economic ties to some degree with Iran also implies that Huawei would have had optional business with Iran.

Oh, and before you think that the US has its ducks in a row, you might want to look at the business partners (read: personal friends) of Vagit Alekperov (LUKoil) and look at their whereabouts in the last 5 months. Also wonder on how many were not arrested whilst in the US (or Canada for that matter), so whilst we all consider on how the US is doing business, we need to consider that more than one of them was roughly 13270 metres from a local FBI office there, we could ask the FBI, but they are currently closed, they will open at 08:15 with a fresh smile and optional free coffee, the coffee is there is apparently quite decent.

Yet back to what matters, you see, Huawei is not merely in the race, it is showing to make headway making 5G locations a lot better. We see the news in Poland, Spain and Italy, all this whilst surpassing the impressive achievement that Ericsson had. It surpassed the annual $100 billion revenue and as it stands, there is every indication that with certain projects in an ongoing state in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and optionally Egypt, Huawei could move towards 30% growth from the $100 billion last year. To a much larger extent it is also due to their mobiles Nova 3i, Mate 20 and the upcoming Nova 4i and Mate 30, it is not merely the excellence of their mobile; it is the sharp and competitive prices that will optionally allow Huawei to chip away the market share that Apple falsely believes to have secured. I believe that certain quotes, like: “Apple’s World Smartphone Market Share Above 50% For the first time ever Apple Inc. (AAPL) has garnered more than 50% of the global smartphone market during the fourth quarter, thanks to its high-end iPhone X“, in light of certain production places shutting down and earlier agreement with other providers should be considered as debatable, there is a definite drop in Apple choice. From my point of view, the people wanted a Golden delicious and they ended up with a Granny Smith. I personally love the sour taste of the Granny Smith, other do not. They objected to the iPad Pro ‘Bendy’, massive quality control problems, and not to forget the Extreme Tech quote: “Apple decided to actually make people’s products slower without telling them it had done so. It took this step after failures in its own manufacturing process caused damage to its batteries“. I am willing to go with the alternative path that the BS sold by Tim Cook where we see “but Cook states that all of the decline is attributable to Apple iPhone sales and that most of those sales (didn’t) occur in China“, all this whilst some sources still hang onto that 50% market share, a stage that is incorrect on more than one level, especially when we consider that the bulk of the people on this planet (roughly 80% plus) cannot afford some bloated new phone model that was close to 40% more expensive than a decent alternative, in this age the difference between $2369 and $1299 is too much for many households, it was the clear shot across the bow we all saw coming, but many remain in denial. In addition, the lawsuit files last month where we see: “plaintiffs Christian Sponchiado and Courtney Davis, alleges that Apple’s marketing claims about the iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max are misleading“. If that case is ruled against Apple the impact will be massive. On the upside, Apple can buy into my IP with the entry price of $25 million upfront and get the optional 90% share of the patents linked to those (in case Google turns me down of course, they get first dibs (they have the reliability and credibility that I prefer).

In addition, as Apple lost $106 billion in value (almost 10%) a few hours ago, shows that the trillion dollar mark was merely a first step to become critically ill, optionally dead on arrival at the Wall Street hospital, more precisely the NYU Langone Health on Wall Street, Tim Cook might take a look at https://nyulangone.org/conditions, where he will learn that Bad Management choices is not a treatable ailment, yet Mental and behavioural Health is actually taken care of, although I am not certain that there is a cure for embossed ego and blindly following greed is not really a diagnosed behavioural health condition, he might be better off looking at Traditional Chinese medicine at that point, there he has an option to get advice from his friend Ren Zhengfei, if Tim forgot the number, Ren Zhengfei can be reached at +86-755-2878-0808.

What was THAT about?

When you consider the sidestep, it was not really a sidestep, when we see the European standards accepted in three countries and four optional additions, whilst the stage is now moving forward faster and faster in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt, in a stage where 25 commercial contracts have been signed and all of them are moving forward, we see the initial failing in the US, Apple is a clear visibility, the lacking evidence of national security risks is out there louder and louder and now we see increased volumed voices in Commonwealth nations to reverse on the Huawei 5G ban. The fact that too many of the opposition have been in a stage of pussyfooting, micro stepping and calling these actions innovation and leaping ahead is where we see the failing of a larger group of Telecom players, at any stage, when (not if) those 5G standards are not met, it merely makes the case for other governments to either side towards a Huawei driven solution or fail in their 5G needs completely, and at this point, those who are not there at the beginning will merely lose millions of business opportunities every day. That is the clear setting and that is what we will see unfold. Players like AT&T might be the most visible ones, but they are not the only ones. Even when we look at current 4G abilities of Vodafone in France, good luck on finding ‘national coverage’ at that point, I have heard from more than one source that the map looks nice, but reality is nothing like their so called coverage map. And in the stage of once bitten twice shy, these players are putting it all one the table, betting everything they have to make a 5G turnaround whilst there is more than one indicating chance that this will falter. That is the gambling stage and all this is done without realising that Huawei does not need to bet, they merely have to deliver what they are promising making the others fold, losing it all over hardware that they cannot provide, or even better are already failing to manufacture. you see, the Wall Street Journal gave us a mere 4 days ago: “Major European wireless providers—big customers of all three—say Nokia and Ericsson have been slow to release equipment that is as advanced as Huawei’s“, the article (at https://www.wsj.com/articles/huawei-rivals-nokia-and-ericsson-struggle-to-capitalize-on-u-s-scrutiny-11546252247) gives us the parts that I mentioned weeks ago, I saw this coming a mile away and now that this is showing to be just as I said it would be, we now see the upcoming failures in a few countries, all of them ‘eager to be the number one‘, now soon to be trailing BEHIND what they call is a technological third world nation (Saudi Arabia), whilst Saudi Arabia is seemingly still speeding ahead and Huawei wants to be completely successful there as it almost guarantees them Middle Eastern 5G Supremacy.

The other players are in a deeper pool of trouble when we consider: “Both Nokia and Ericsson fear that if they are seen trying to take advantage, Beijing could retaliate by cutting off access to the massive Chinese market, people familiar with the matter said“, this is not news, this was always going to happen, you might want to pick up a decent history book and reread the British Telecom phase in the UK around 3 decades ago, it is not as comfortable to face these scrutinies when you are receiving the damage, not dishing it out, is it?

As I personally see it the US is due a few setbacks, these setbacks could cost Wall Street, the DJI and the NASDAQ in larger ways than I can foresee at present. What will happen to claimants when the delivery is not met and those 5G wannabe’s all make legal claims on goods and speeds not delivered? I do not need to remind the readers of the Trumped ego of nations when promises are not kept, do I?

These are not merely obstacles or pitfalls; the entire setting was bogus on a few levels. Whenever I see the Huawei ban mention on TV, my mind races back and remembers the US Secretary of State Colin Powell in clownish fashion running around with a silver briefcase showing it off at closed sessions with WMD events, you do remember how that ended, do you not? As I personally see it, the entire 5G debacle will be the same, but now the nations adhering to that alliance will face a lot more backwash from their own local political parties when it all falls down, and I feel 80% certain that this is exactly what will happen down the road. As I stated more than once, in the UK Alex Younger was at least in the proper stage where he did not claim National security risk, he merely stated that such infrastructure must be held national, not international hands. It is not a great decision, but at least it made sense, yet there too Huawei has economic options by investing in training the Bright Cambridge, London Poly tech and Oxford people in creating excellent 5G devices, optionally merely funding it and gaining huge windfalls over the upcoming decade. It would be a so called scenario of all the gains without the optional pains.

Interesting that we see nothing on such an optional solution in the media, do we? So as the new modelled 5G pushes forward there is no doubt that in the immediate time it will be ruled by Huawei, the others were (as I personally see it) too short-sighted for too long and that is the Tim Cookie we all forgot about, so whilst we see new Cookie policies, we merely see a collection of cyber analysts all gathered around some jar and not around the place of true innovation, the memo they received was in the end not that clear on the matter (Go Figure).

If you were up to speed to certain events and got the previous reference, my congratulations to you; if you missed it, no worries. Merely look (at http://scientists4wiredtech.com/2018/03/4g-5g-wireless-is-the-new-bait-and-switch-scandal/) and do not go on faith with: “4G/5G Wireless antennas require a fiber optic wire to be attached to each cell site, every block or two. No private company is going to roll out fiber to lots of new areas. The FCC rarely, if ever, mentions that 4G/5G densification requires fiber optic wires. Commissioner Carr’s 5G statement never mentions the terms “fiber” or “state utility”“, and when you add: “AT&T just changed its mind about deploying fixed wireless. The operator has been touting its plans to deploy a mobile 5G network in 12 markets in the United States this year using millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands. And while it still plans to move forward with those deployment plans, it announced today that it will deploy fixed wireless in late 2019 using the unlicensed Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum. It will initially deploy LTE but then migrate to 5G. The company did not say how many markets it would deploy” (from another source) and consider the two statements we see an optional shift in a few direction, more important all the places where AT&T will not reach (beside the difference in range that the two very different standards have), so at that point, how much subsidy will never ever be in favour of the American people and in addition to that, their created ALEC group (American Legislative Exchange Council), at that point when these documents and legislative agreement are scanned and we end up seeing some version of: “grants LICENSEE and its AFFILIATES, a nonexclusive right to USE the 5G hardware provided with these license terms (hereinafter the “HARDWARE”) for its intended purpose, as defined below. USE means the right to enable the HARDWARE in the manner and for the purpose for which it was intended by the manufacturer“, at what point will the people realise that ‘intended by the manufacturer‘ will end up being massively ambiguous and that in the end no rights will remain with the user when it end up not being up to the expected scrap? It is not even a slippery slope; it is a slippery slope not being able to support part of the weight it was supposed to support.

The worst part of it all is that it was not even a surprise to me that this was going to happen, so as others claim to be so much more intelligent to me, is that true intelligence, or is that intelligence that enabled them to fill their pockets? You tell me, I am not presuming any answers here, I am merely pointing out the facts that are actually available in a whole range of sources, several of them respectable; they merely did not bother to connect the highlighted dots, which is also a matter of concern at some point soon enough.

 

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As life becomes affordable

The US is not becoming affordable. It has been affordable for some time. The issue is that America is too focused on the larger places of fame. They want to be in a place where they can get notices. Places like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston seem to get the attention (a few more then that), and it is all about the opportunity to grow business. Yet, what happens when your life is for the most online? What happens when you are not set in a stage of location, location, location? What happens when you are the analyst that can work equally easy in a cubicle or your own living room?

When you consider that this can be the stage of tomorrow, the US starts to open up by a lot in a few ways. There is however one limitation. This is a game for the young, merely because the health system of the US is decently screwed and is unlikely to resolve itself in the next two generations. Yet consider, when you have a few years of experience and you are confronted in a place like Lancaster Pennsylvania offering a townhouse, 200 m2, with a mortgage of $1,059 per month, whilst a place half the size in Sydney costs close to $450 per week, and whether the value increases or not. You are now in a setting growing your ‘wealth’. Now, if you are all about weekend parties and clubbing these are not the places for you, yet at some stage you need to consider that some places are non-events with a $1300 a week price tag. So be honest, have you considered to be anywhere else? And that is not the only place, the US is a place of opportunity for anyone with handy to upgrade the place they get. Also consider that a simple place in Boulder, Colorado where $722 a month gets you 110 M2 with 3 bedrooms. My rent in a similar place (in Australia) was $450 a week, so there is a clear setting of ‘oops!’, for me that is.

So why are we considering this?

When we look at some of the speakers in all this, we get to see the Deloitte report (at https://www2.deloitte.com/au/en/pages/economics/articles/5g-mobile-technology.html). Here we see the first number that impacts. After the first decade, we will see a production growth, not merely more per person, but optionally more per teams in play. It equates to: ‘around $50 billion in additional GDP‘. Do you still think that it was merely about ‘security’? The entire Huawei mess gave us quotes in several places and the SMH gives us: “He noted with “not many suppliers in the marketplace”, taking out a major player “puts pressure on prices”“, when we add we see: “That leaves the Finnish and Swedish multinationals Nokia and Ericsson as the most likely developers of 5G technologies adopted by Australian telcos, potentially raising concerns of higher costs“. Even as no evidence was ever shown in the entire Australian Huawei debacle, we need to consider that Australia could lose the ‘be first, or lose market share‘ options soon enough. When the brain drain starts and certain groups of players will seek the better income in a cheaper place, how will that serve the Australian interest? For Telstra it is not a problem, they can’t go anywhere and they will not care about the fallout that is likely to hit the Australian shores. As we see the growth of new mobile set work stages, so as the plate is ‘dammed’ in stages and we are exposed to “Businesses don’t want costly 5G, new research reveals. New research shows businesses won’t upgrade from 4G to 5G if it comes at a price” (source: The Australian), we need to consider Forbes who gives us: “this time around, something has changed. When it comes to the next generation, 5G, some telecom executives seem to have lost their faith in the power of technology. A survey of recent public statements by executives of the 19 largest mobile network operators worldwide shows that more than half (53%) see no near-term business case for 5G. In a 5G network, wireless data can travel at speeds of greater than 1 gigabit per second, more than 10 times faster than most 4G networks“, so there would be a case from the earlier quote, yet when we consider the Deloite report with the quoted: ‘around $50 billion in additional GDP‘, you tell me how long it will last until the doubters and the pussy footers will no longer be players, merely runners after the fact losing market share on a near daily basis, and that is my benefit. I can slice, and dice and dashboard data anywhere on the planet. I can do technical support and customer care equally anywhere on the planet. With my half a dozen languages the customer will not care where I am as long as I speak the local language. And the larger changes are still coming, when you consider what you can get in London at an affordable price, consider where you have to live in London for £174,950, whilst it gets you a decent 1 bedroom place in Birmingham, or a 2 bedroom bungalow at £369,995 for that matter, that will not get you anywhere in London, you need 100% more to get it in London (a smaller place too) and not the greatest location either. That is the setting we seem to have forgotten about. It is the one 5G element I equally forgot about. It is not merely about making more money, it is the new stage where you can live more affordable and the same income gets you a hell of a lot more. Whilst most stuff will remain the same, your groceries would be better prices and with the housing at a much better place we see that the appeal of the larger places like Sydney and London lose their appeal. So whilst we see and accept ‘around $50 billion in additional GDP‘, it is not going arrive anywhere when the people have moved to better shores and that is the setting that MacroBusiness reported on last year. There is a brain drain and it is not only in Sydney, or merely in Australia. As the quality of life remained stagnant for the longest of times, the 5G push will also give a shift in other jobs, and the companies not ready for that accommodation will find themselves too soon in a stage where they take hit upon hit and lose more than merely short term revenue. It will be the start of losing long terms contracts because the service level agreements can no longer be met. At that point, reconsider the issues I have raised for the longest of times, also reconsider the Telstra setting and the Australian government is suddenly required (read: demanded) to provide the evidence that Huawei was insecure, I wonder what happens at that point. When the business clauses fails and we see the stage of ‘infighting like bitches‘ and some people start pointing at each other, it will be great fun to see the damage and even more damage when some media channels start trivialising certain events with the causality of ‘it’ll be all right‘. At that point, when we are confronted not with: ‘around $50 billion in additional GDP‘, but with ‘Australia is set to grow its GDP by almost $3 billion through its amazing efforts in 5G‘, at that point will someone seriously ask what happened with the other 94%, or will we see gamers getting blamed again? Perhaps with a speculated: ‘As gamers have taken usage to a new level, businesses have been losing out for too much‘. Yes at that point we will see some flames flare in all directions. As we see that we are no longer limited to a city or a country, we see that opportunity will flare in every direction and those not merely embracing 5G, but those facilitating for the move towards quality of life will end up with a better and a much larger workforce gaining even more revenue momentum. When we realise that our workflow has become global we see the additional impact of businesses, where the nation facilitating for this will end up with a much better market share than ever before. So in that end it is not better to be merely fast and early, this is the one race where being first matters more than ever before, a very new setting. That was always the stage, but never seen a clearly as recently, and when we realise that the UK is actually racing the 5G path, we see that there will be additional options there too, so in the end as 5G does not care about Brexit, it merely handles data, we see that the UK recovery will still be fast and will take them further, especially when they realise that there is more to the UK than London, even Wales has its part to play. When we see: “Vodafone has said it will test 5G in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester from October“, so even as it is Vodafail, it still required them to put 5G option in place, and whoever has that access has a distinct advantage. When you consider that Birmingham is a mere 75 minutes from London by train, does it really matter if you only see it in the weekends, there are over 140 trains taking that route each day, implying well over 5 trains an hour.

It is my personal belief that 5G is not merely changing the game; it will create personal opportunities for anyone flexible enough to make the larger changes, even if they are merely short term, a game for the young.

 

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The non-knowing speak loudest

There is an old saying that goes back to the original circus, the days of Sir Alec Guiness, John Le Carre and the circus (MI6). Those who do not know speak and those who do will not. There is however a valid issue with that mindset. When it is merely intelligence and what some regard as spyshit, we tend to not care. It is their world and they tend to live by other rules even as they have the same lack of common cyber sense as some US generals, it is their choice to make. Yet when we see labour people like Michael Danby need to present evidence in regards to “an opposition Labor party MP, called on the Liberal-National coalition to block Huawei and fellow Chinese telecoms company ZTE from supplying equipment for the 5G network. “Both Huawei and ZTE must report to the Communist party cell at the top of their organisations,” he told parliament. “Let me issue a clarion call to this parliament: Australia’s 5G network must not be sold to these telcos.”” I am actually in the mindset that his seat should be put up for auction if he does not disclose a proper setting and give evidence as to the reasoning of all this. It becomes more pressing when we see “Mr Lord, a former rear admiral in the Royal Australian Navy, told Australia’s state broadcaster on Monday that these claims were “wrong”, adding that Huawei was not owned by any committee of government and posed no risk to Australia’s security“. It is not just because Mr Lord is a former rear admiral, more that the average naval midshipman tends to be more reliable than any politician. We get this from the Financial Times (at https://www.ft.com/content/1a2d19ba-67b1-11e8-8cf3-0c230fa67aec). In addition, when we get politicians start the scare tactics of ‘critical infrastructure pose a risk to national security’, there is a clear need for both Duncan Lewis and Paul Symon AO to get hauled in a chair in Canberra and ask them to openly answer the questions regarding any evidence that Huawei is a security threat. To blatantly accept the US on their ‘china fears’ is all well and good for Telstra, yet the setting is not a given and the fact that Telstra is nowhere near the technological levels of Huawei is not something that we blame them from, but they basically lost the 5G war before it started through their own actions and inactions.

Now if there is an actual national security concern, we should be open about that and when that happens, and evidence is presented, at that point we can all relax and state to Huawei that we feel sorry for the inconvenience caused, but such concerns are just too big to ignore. I think we have had quite enough of these presentations that reek of Colin Powell and his silver suitcase with evidence that no one ever saw in 2001. We cannot go in that direction ever again. We will not be the play toy of greedy telecom companies and their internal needs for stupidity and inactions; we can no longer afford such a nepotism environment.

That same issue can be said regarding Nationals MP George Christensen. Apart from him trying to undo a business deal of a 99 year lease, no matter how silly that deal was, Australia cannot be perceived as a nation that cannot be trusted at the business table. My second issue is why a maroon (Queenslander) is involving himself with NT politics. In that regard, why do we not see the responses form Vicki O’Halloran is she has any, is she not the appointed administrator? In this, the game is not over. The Australian Financial Review gives us: “Huawei faces the likelihood that Cabinet’s national security committee will veto it supplying equipment for the 5G network, based on the recommendations of security agencies, over concerns about the potential for cyber espionage at the behest of China’s leaders“. In this the question becomes, is there an actual security concern, or is it that the national concern is the devaluation of Telstra? In additional support we need to see the Sydney Morning Herald two weeks ago when they gave us (at https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/how-a-huawei-5g-ban-is-about-more-than-espionage-20180614-p4zlhf.html): “The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age reported in March that there were serious concerns within the Turnbull government about Huawei’s potential role in 5G – a new wireless standard that could be up to 10 times as powerful as existing mobile services, and used to power internet connections for a range of consumer devices beyond phones“, as well as “the decision will have an impact on Australia’s $40 billion a year telecoms market – potentially hurting Telstra’s rivals“. the first part is something I wrote about for well over a year, the second one is important as we see ‘potentially hurting Telstra’s rivals‘, from my personal point of view it reads like the one lobotomised idiot in telecom country gets to decide through arm-twisting on how we need to remain backwards as they set the standard that they could not deliver for the longest of times (a little sarcasm regarding Telstra’s 2011 3.7G), I wrote about that recently.

ABC gave us yesterday: “it continues to be the target of criticism over its connections to the Chinese Government, including allegations it is involved in state-sponsored espionage“, yet the people have never been shown actual evidence, so where is that at? There might have been doubts to some degree for a while, but the Powell stunt is too clear in our minds and the USA does not have the credibility (or credit rating for that matter) it once had. The fact that the opposing former rear admiral of the Australian navy trumps two half bit politicians seeking the limelight any day of the week and some stay silent, the reason for that is only speculation, but we might not need to seek far and a few words ion Google Search might help find that answer (like ‘Telstra’ and ‘8000’). When we see some giving us: ‘Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX:TLS) is betting it all on 5G‘ and we see the Telstra strategy briefing (at https://www.telstra.com.au/content/dam/tcom/about-us/investors/pdf-e/2018-Strategy-Update.pdf), we see on page 6, Leading with 5G, that would never be an option with Huawei in play as they are ahead by a lot, so the presentation given a week ago, whilst we realise that the presentation was prepared way before that is giving the setting that Huawei is no longer considered to be competition, that is what we now face! What some might call a backward organisation proclaiming to be leading whilst 8000 men will be missing through inaction. That page is even more fun when you consider the quote ‘new technologies like IoT‘, which is funny when you consider that the Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices. It is not a technology; it is a network that enables technology. In addition, when you start nit-picking in that 34 page event, we see all the bells and whistles we need to see, yet when you consider consumers and small business (the millions of people that Telstra charges) starts at page 9 and gives us 5 slides. We see ‘cutting edge 5G capability’ (by whose standards?), we see location devices (with the image of a dog), Access to rewards an tickets, a fully-digital relationship with Telstra (an implied no more personal interaction after the sales, merely a chatbot) and value added services, yet the value of a service like customer service and customer care are absent in that part of the equation, so how does this push the people forward, because I doubt that it actually will achieve anything in the long run and one flaw will anger the actual consumers without limits.

You see, personally I believe in the IoT, I believe in 5G, they are tools to enhance experiences and interactions, not make them obsolete and that is what  feel when I saw the Telstra strategy update. These two elements can enhance customer care, customer service and customer support, not replace them with ‘AI’ enhanced chatbots. So the moment we get a 2.0 version of ‘Telstra’s new chatbot, Codi, is making so many mistakes customers are furious’ (at https://www.businessinsider.com.au/telstra-codi-bot-backlash-2018-3), chatbots can be a great asset to get the information and channel the call to the right person, yet that again is merely enhancing and that can work fine. The presentation implies the loss of actual customer values and ignoring their need for interactions. That in an aging population might be the least intelligent stance to make ever.

Yet this does not give way to the issue on Telstra versus Huawei, as the Sydney Morning Herald states “Telstra has refused to exclude Huawei from its 5G tender, but that is seen more as a way of keeping its existing supplier Ericsson on its toes“, as well as “In other words, a ban could be bad news for TPG, Vodafone and Optus. Whether it is necessarily good news for Telstra – which has its own issues at the moment – is less clear“. In finality we get “Intelligence agencies tend to get their way on matters like these“, this beckons the question what are they actually after? The US seems to be in bed with Samsung and their 5G routers, so it makes sense that this will be the path that Telstra walks as well, time will tell how it ends.

So why is this such a big deal?

We are currently in danger of actually falling behind Saudi Arabia, yes, that place in a large sandbox is about to surpass us in 5G and other technologies. They had the audacity to reserve half a trillion dollars toward Vision 2030 and Neom. So when we got “Al-Khobar in the Eastern Province, of Saudi Arabia, has become the first city in the region to benefit from the fifth-generation wireless network or 5G network, according to a press statement issued by the Center of International Communication“, last month. There was not a surprise in my bone. You see, this will drive their Vision 2030 plans even further. So as Saudi Arabia is now the new pond to grow speciality in 5G, app designers can promote, test and deliver on knowledge that will be available whilst Telstra is trying to figure out how to get 5G installed. with “All the necessary national 5G policies and supporting administrative provisions are planned to be in place before the end of 2019, along with the award of initial batches of the spectrum to support the full commercial deployment of 5G technologies“, we see that Saudi Arabia had been taking this serious for a much longer time. This goes a little further when we see ‘the Middle East and Africa 5G Technology market (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Nigeria, and South Africa)‘, so at this point, Saudi Arabia has a head start to not just push Saudi Arabia forward, they have quite literally first dibs on gaining a chunk of the 98 million Egyptians. Not all can afford 5G, we get that, but those who do are confronted with only Saudi Arabia as a Muslim player, you did not actually believe that they would run to Vodafone, did you?

So back to the 5G local ‘market’! For this we need to take a look at the Australian Financial review 2 weeks ago. Here we see (at https://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/the-technical-reasons-why-huawei-too-great-a-5g-risk-20180614-h11e3o), with the title ‘The technical reasons why Huawei is too great a 5G risk‘, the start is good, this is what we wanted. Yet we are treated to paragraphs of emotion and alleged settings. So when we see: “Huawei presents unique additional risk beyond the “normal” risk of buying complex equipment. China has demonstrated a long-standing intent to conduct cyber-espionage“, so is ‘intent’ shown in evidence? How did the CIA and NSA acquire our data or Cambridge Analytica for that matter? ‘China is thought to be behind data breaches‘ is merely a statement ‘thought‘ is speculation, not evidence. Then we get: “The US Trade Representative’s Section 301 report from March this year details the very close cooperation between the Third Department of China’s People’s Liberation Army (3PLA is a military hacking unit, also known as Unit 61398) and Chinese enterprises“, I have to get back to this. We are treated to ‘At one extreme, Huawei could be asked‘, is a case of fear mongering and not evidence. In addition we get ‘it is certainly a possibility‘ which came after ‘Vulnerabilities may already exist. This may not be the most likely possibility‘ as well as ‘very likely‘ all emotional responses, none of them evidence in any way, so the article with included in the title ‘The technical reasons’, has pretty much zero technology and close to 90% ‘allegedly’, speculations and emotional twists, whilst we cannot deny the optional existence of vulnerabilities, yet these are found regularly in Cisco hardware and Microsoft software, so have those two been banned in Australia?

Now to get back to the Section 301 report (at https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/Section%20301%20FINAL.PDF). It is 215 pages and I did not read that complete political US marketing behemoth. There is one that actually carries weight. On page 153 we see: “evidence from U.S. law enforcement and private sources indicates that the Chinese government has used cyber intrusions to serve its strategic economic objectives. Documented incidents of China’s cyber intrusions against U.S. commercial entities align closely with China’s industrial policy objectives. As the global economy has increased its dependence on information systems in recent years, cyber theft became one of China’s preferred methods of collecting commercial information because of its logistical advantages and plausible deniability“, which is basically good application of intelligence gathering. Please do not take my word for it, feel free to call the NSA (at +1-301-6886311, all their calls are recorded for training and quality purposes). Oh, and before I forget, the text came with footnote 970, which gave us “A number of public submissions provided to USTR state that the Chinese government has no reason to conduct cyber intrusions or commit cyber theft for commercial purposes, see CHINA GENERAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE [hereinafter “CGCC”], Submission, Section 301 Hearing 16 (Sept. 28, 2017); that the US has not provided evidence of such actions by China, that China is also a target of cyber-attacks, and that the two countries should work together“, there is that to deal with and is that not a rare instance where we are treated to ‘the US has not provided evidence of such actions‘, how many times have we seen claims like that since 2001? Would that number be a 4 or 5 digit number?

The point is not whether it can or could happen, the question becomes did it happen here? let’s not forget that in most settings the section 301 report is about US interests and their technological advancement (which they lost by becoming iteratively stupid). Here we have a different setting. In the setting we face Huawei has a technological advance over all we have in Australia and most of Europe as well. Huawei was one of the first to realise the power of data and 5G and they are close to a market leader, the US is basically relying on Samsung to get them there. BT (British Telecom) is on the ball, but still not on par. They are in bed with Finland “BT has teamed with Nokia to collaborate on the creation of 5G proof of concept trials, the development of emerging technology standards and equipment, and potential 5G use cases“, so this sets the larger players in a field where Nokia and Huawei are now active. The SAMENA Telecom Leaders Summit 2018 and Saudi Telecom Company (STC) announced today that it is working with Nokia to launch a 5G network in 2018 within Saudi Arabia, yet the technology agreements show that it does include Huawei and Cisco, so they aren’t already active, the setting for the initial bumps in the road that Cisco, Nokia and Huawei will surely overcome is knowledge that we will not have in Australia long after someone was able to connect the 5G router to a power point (very presentable, yet the online green light seems to be broken).

So whilst politicians are considering who to be buddies with, Saudi Arabia joins the US and they will be the first 5G providers, which means that the UK and Australia are lagging behind and optionally not for the short term either.

So am I not knowing or am I all knowing? I actually prefer the first, because it is more relaxing; yet the need to speak out loud is becoming increasingly important even if it was only to place the loud mouth limelight seeking politicians like Michael Danby and George Christensen in their slightly too arrogant place. They are of course welcome to present ACTUAL evidence proving me wrong. #WishingForAMiracleHere

 

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Is it a Prise, Prize or Price fight?

This is an interesting time, you see, many will not yet realise it, but we are roughly 19 months away from a game changing moment in our lives. There are groups of people scurrying to get to a virtual starting position, because they have learned the hard way that not setting the stage for the fight means that they will lose out the second time and this time there will be no third round for them. If you are at this point considering that I am kidding or that my statement is over the top, you better reconsider fast, because Orange Poland is now starting to get backers who have serious amounts of cash and last Wednesday, AT&T released ECOMP (their version) in San Francisco. They called it Indigo and it is one of two markers that are now actively in place to set the stage for massive shifts in Big Data. Yes, you are reading this correct!

This is not just a stage of evolution, this is now starting to be a stage of transition. As the people are marketed into a sullied state of dreams, they are tempted to seek what the places bring to them. Places like Tableau relying on AdWords top placement to show how important they are in this industry, with others using the same path on how ‘the magic quadrant of Big Business‘ is the solution, on how we see the ‘Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader‘, but the truth is actually in another direction. Places like AT&T who basically got their asses handed to them as they did not act in the 90’s, they now see that being there ahead of the game is the only move left to them, because AT&T sees that America will not make them great, it will not make them the global player. That is the first shift we see are now witnessing.

In this a very similar view can be found in the movie Assassins Creed. Now, it got written off by a several critics, but the beauty of the product is not in the movie, which is still bringing in a decent amount of profit (millions) for first time producer (and actor) Michael Fassbender. The reason why this movie is so interesting is seen in the revenue. Only 25% came from the US, the rest international. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story does it to some degree where the US and international set is 50/50, the US is no longer the bulk of the income for, a basic issue that now needs addressing, especially by the American players.  That time has gone and these players have caught on that in 22 months the infrastructure is either in place, or they are out of the race. Even as we still see large players (like the Dutch KPN) rely on presentations on how ‘great’ they are. Certain players are realising more that tactics need to change, the presentation is no longer enough, and they need to be ready sooner than ever expected.

This is seen in another way, a way I already saw coming. This time it is the Canberra Times (at http://www.canberratimes.com.au/technology/technology-news/ftc-accuses-vizio-of-spying-on-smart-tv-customers-20170206-gu70p5.html) that gives the goods. We see ‘The US Federal Trade Commission said on Monday that Vizio used 11 million televisions to spy on its customers‘, which reminded me of my blog article ‘The back door‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/12/29/the-back-door/), which I wrote on December 29th 2016 with the part “consider the amount of mail you have at present and see what happens when 10 devices are added to your house profile. The refrigerator, your smart TV, your smart recorder, your game console, your laptop/tablet/PC, your 5 smart devices” as well as “A large group of people will get more and more access to your way of life. In addition, there will be an option to influence your way of life, which is a side nobody signed up for“, a stage that is now coming a lot faster than I expected. The Vizio case is only the most visible one now, this whilst more evidence is coming that Microsoft is engaged in similar actions. Is it not interesting that Microsoft is not mentioned? Perhaps that is because they are only doing that outside of the US? What is interesting is that with Vizio, places like Time.com states how to deactivate certain options, there are more and more indicators out there that this is not an option with Windows 10. How many devices use that? The other part we need to know is that the Vizio case started all the way back in 2014. So it took the trade commission well over 2 years to get there, and for how long was data collected? The interesting part is however not there, it is in the quote “manufactured VIZIO smart TVs that capture second-by-second information about video displayed on the smart TV, including video from consumer cable, broadband, set-top box, DVD, over-the-air broadcasts, and streaming devices. In addition, VIZIO facilitated appending specific demographic information to the viewing data, such as sex, age, income, marital status, household size, education level, home ownership, and household value, the agencies allege. VIZIO sold this information to third parties, who used it for various purposes, including targeting advertising to consumers across devices, according to the complaint“. You see, the issue is not seen towards one place, when you consider ‘including video from consumer cable, broadband, set-top box, DVD, over-the-air broadcasts, and streaming devices‘, this implies that Vizio played the field and was also getting the data from Consoles (which hurts Microsoft and Sony) as well as Foxtel (several data paths), so did Vizio get dobbed in? You see, in 2014 this field was in its infancy, now in 2017, whilst data will be the essential centre stage to all matters big data related, now it gets to be a different thing and still the media at large is asking way too few questions on the who, where and for how long. And as our exposure is set to 2014 cases that are only decided now. Even as now suddenly a wave of newscasts is hitting the screens of people on how Microsoft has privacy tools, how Microsoft is trying to quash gag orders. Microsoft is part of all this from the ground up. Whilst within a Chinese wall environment, one side of the wall is boasting that they champion the privacy of others. As we see that there are now Microsoft privacy tools, we see that that part comes with the small quote “coming to future editions of Windows 10“, which is the case because Microsoft and AT&T are very aware that being alive is being in the game and data is the one element that allows them to do it in an affordable way. There is an additional side, which was brought by Forbes. It is just a week old and gives us the consideration we actually need. The part where we get hit with ‘Tempest in a Teapot’, which could just be a storm in a teacup is not that minor an issue. You see Forbes own Thomas Fox-Brewster is setting the stage, but is he doing it intentionally so? consider “Trump’s decision should only affect the privacy of data handled by government agencies, not private companies” as well as “the only way in which the order may affect non-U.S. individuals lies in the manner the Department of Homeland Security handles personal information“, which is actually the part we should not care about. It is the ‘private companies‘ part that is the actual danger. First we need to take a look at the legal part. Now, I can do that, but the experienced people at DLA Piper (at https://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/insights/publications/2016/07/privacy-shield-is-final/) did that and I just hate inventing the wheel twice. Yet in that part the following issue rose, and it did so because it has happened before (and it will happen again). It is seen in this part ‘Secure personal data and ensure the ability to restrict secondary uses‘ and the issue is not because of that part exactly, it is because of the technological side to it. You see the restrictions on data and backup data are not the same, backup data is not seen as data. Forbes actually raised it in 2012 with “First and foremost, IT auditors need to come up to speed on the implications of auditing data that’s beyond the organization’s control and beyond the organization’s home borders. While some auditors are worried, many are more optimistic that these requirements provide business opportunities within the security, compliance and auditing community as organizations move data and long-term storage into the cloud” as well as “When data is moved beyond an organization’s technological and geographic borders, the organization runs the risk of losing control of how that data complies with regulatory compliance. By addressing legal and regulatory challenges up front through technology, an organization can begin architecting an off-premise, cloud-based storage solution that meets the business’s needs as well as keeps regulatory compliance at bay“, yet only now, or better stated only recently do we see a shift that places like SAP are now realising that technicians and consultants have their own agenda’s and an American one does not see things the same way a European technician sees things. Computer Weekly raised it, but they did so with the interesting quote “data analytics technology, will ensure that only technicians in Europe will have access to potentially sensitive data held in its cloud datacentres, if companies demand it“, you see, it’s the ‘if companies demand it‘ part that matters. If provider A has an infrastructure yet it gets its backup serviced by consultancy provider B who uses a different cloud and cloud system, where is the security set when system B is in the USA and system A is in Italy? There we might see the term ‘data safety is not impacted‘, yet it is equally not impacted when Intelligence Agency ‘who gives a damn‘ has mirrored that backup and now has 100% of all data. That is the realistic issue that the Privacy Shield addresses, but does it do that in equal measure for a cloud corporate infrastructure? Is the backup party vetted, or even identified? You see, this is not about paranoia or what people learn about me. This is about large corporations getting an even more unbalanced advantage. That part is not addressed because those supporting large corporation only need to delay things (Vizio 2014 is evidence enough). It is Kevin Werbach from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania who gives the parts I have been referring to. In a podcast on innovation we get “Companies like Uber and Airbnb are built on algorithms. They’re built on software that understands supply and demand and matches people on both sides of the network“, THIS IS IT!

That is why the players need the data and as much as they can. Do you think that people like Mike McNamara (Target Corp) got a massive oversized budget for the fun of it? No, he realised (and successfully sold that to the board of directors), that if he had the data and the systems in place he can take K-Mart and Walmart to town and take chunks of their share, in the next 6 months we are likely to see the first small victories, small in start but it will be a growing wave, have no doubt about that part. These are the advantages that larger corporations have and some are doing it ethically acceptable. Yet in a similar fashion I see that those taking a different path are not questioned or hold to any level of accountability. How is that for screwed up? I have nothing against these places, but in the global setting, Target would gain an advantage against the Dutch C&A if this continues. I believe that to some degree competitiveness is a good thing, but what happens when the tools available are not available to all? What happens when one retailer is ethically kept blind, whilst the outside competitor has a dataset describing the national population in excellent detail? Where is the fairness then?

So are we facing a fight with three players? That is not a given, there are a few elements in motion over the next 18+ months so there will be shifting. Except those who are claiming and considering not participating, they are pretty much out of the game for good. Nokia is now re-joining the mobile fight, trying to bring a competitor to the Pixar XL and the iPhone 7 to the fight (Nokia P1), what was interesting is that they avoided the one ‘mistake’ the Google Pixar has. It will be one way for people to get a cheap solution this year, but will it be enough?

Not enough data to tell and that is where it sets the pace of the continuing fighters, who has the data? Which might be the premise of a joke. Three fighters were getting into the match. One thought it was a prize fight, one thought it was a prise fight and one assumed it was a price fight.

Which player do you think will be the one left standing in the end?

 

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The Taxing Delicious

Taxing delicious is a new sweet tasting Apple, even sweeter than the golden Delicious, and it is to be regarded as healthy for body, mind and government. Yes, in this case it is not a new Irish Cider (which would be a nice idea too), this is about a company getting a bill. You see, the funny part of it was that if there had been no EU, Apple would have been 13 billion wealthier. How doesn’t that beat the odds?

These are some of the thoughts rising within me again as I read ‘Apple tax ruling must be overturned, says US business group‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/sep/16/apple-tax-ruling-must-be-overturned-says-us-business-group).

As I see it, if it is such an issue, why not do an appeal? You see, this entire issue is as convoluted as it is ever likely to get. When I see ‘Ireland Doesn’t Want Apple’s Back Taxes, but the Irish Aren’t So Sure‘ in the New York Times (at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/12/business/international/ireland-doesnt-want-apples-back-taxes-but-the-irish-arent-so-sure.html), my initial response to Enda Kenny would be “Are you out of your bloody mind?” Now, let’s be partially fair. There is a method to the governments madness, yet even as giving in to big business might seem appealing, but the US is changing its taxation parameters (as well as tax accountability) and after the elections there is no way to tell how the US governments hats will be pointing, so getting what you can now is not the worst idea. In addition, when Apple et al will make the jump away and to other places, they will leave you with buildings that remain empty and will not have been paid off, so you will have a billion in real estate, whilst not having any return on investment, just empty buildings wasting away. That situation is not as unimaginative or as surreal as you might think. The idea that a government is appealing against a tax bill on behalf of a Forbes 500 company is entertaining, upsetting and obscene all at the same time, but that is sometimes how the cookie crumbles.

What is interesting in all this is how the EU courts will act, you see, if they give in now, it should be regarded as the utter uselessness of that court to begin with. It gives weight that not being part of that very expensive club is indeed the way to go, which will now give weight that Brexit was not a bad move and it will in addition fuel Frexit too. All that over a mere 13 billion invoice. Less than 5% of the costs of Greece, which fuelled Brexit to begin with. This is at the heart of the matter of what the Americans just cannot comprehend. They just received the massive blowback on the lesson that you cannot win every fight and that Economic Status Quo is an illusion that will collapse upon those believing in it.

So as we see the idiotic roundtable threaten those European leaders “In an open letter to the leaders of the 28 European Union countries, the Business Roundtable group defended Apple over its tax dispute with the European commission” and “US businesses have warned European leaders they risk a “grievous self-inflicted wound” unless they overturn Brussels’ demand that Apple pay the Irish government €13bn (£11.4bn)“, I just wonder if they even considered the stupidity of their actions. On the other hand, should those leaders cave, how stupid are the European elected officials to begin with? So as we wonder whether Randall L. Stephenson has looked into the long term issues of his act, when we see that these actions drive Frexit and possibly even Italy’s act on a referendum (although the major influences would be Brexit and Frexit), will Randall respond with a ‘this is much more complex and should not have been pushed by our, what we regard to be a righteous act‘, or will we see a spokesperson state ‘Our Chairman is currently unavailable and is taking his personal time teaching the Youth how to do a proper sheepshank‘? I will let you decide, but consider that tax accountability has been an issue for over a decade and now we finally see an actual result against a large corporation we see people backing down? Perhaps they thought it would never get that far? Just like Brexit was never going to be a reality!

Yet the Irish Times did not remain quiet and less than 24 hours ago reported (at http://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/apple-fined-in-japan-for-under-reporting-earnings-sent-to-ireland-1.2793469), ‘Apple fined in Japan for under-reporting earnings sent to Ireland‘. So when we read “The Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau determined that the unit, which sends part of its profits earned from fees paid by subscribers in Japan to another Apple unit in Ireland to pay for software licensing, had not been paying a withholding tax on those earnings in Japan, according to broadcaster NHK“, I just wonder who the Tax Auditor was here.

Now I am not out to make Apple the bad guy, even though they screwed me over twice! What is important is that through all the presentations and all the boasting and ego based actions, there are now 4 groups in play all trying to get Brussels to back down on a legal verdict. We need to wait the appeal on this, yet should this remain and if the US makes noise we will have clear evidence that the EU is no longer something with validity, even stronger, these events are clear signals that the TTIP is an even worse idea than initially thought of in opposition. The one sidedness aside, the fact that American business has basically become the corporate ‘bully’, we need to reassess the situation and remain clear on where our priorities are. I personally remain with the belief as I always have that the Commonwealth nations need to stick together. In these times we now see the Democratic Party under leadership of President Obama do the following “The Obama administration on Thursday took action to limit the use of foreign tax credits by American multinational companies to reduce their U.S. tax bills, a move that followed an EU order that Apple pay back taxes to Ireland“, which I think is not a bad idea. You see, Apple et al might claim how they are so investing everywhere, but that is only done (as I personally see it) to avoid paying tax in America. It is one of the massive reasons why America is so deep in debt (apart from their impossibility to manage a budget) and something has to give. If those tax dollars are used to lower that debt then I would state: “Barack, you legend you, well done!“, because an America with low debt (read: no debt), would be again the superpower it once was and currently pretends to be.

In the end, nations that have a minimal debt, these nations get to decide for themselves, not having their actions overruled by financial institutions or Large Corporation, or by Randall L. Stephenson for that matter. Yes, we can see that those moves will have impact all over Europe and not in a nice way, but that is part of the game. You cannot have it both ways that was never a reality to begin with. Now they only need to fix the holes that Mario Draghi has in his hands and we are possibly perhaps on route to get something sorted.

Yet there is one part we need to get back to and that is the verdict. You see, what is in play here is the statement “an agreement allowing Apple to pay a maximum tax rate of just 1%. In 2014, the tech firm paid tax at 0.005%. The usual rate of corporation tax in Ireland is 12.5%“, this implies that Apple didn’t just get preferential treatment, all the other players were discriminated against. When we see the parts we had already known for a long time, the fact that “Ireland’s tax arrangements with Apple between 1991 and 2015 had allowed the US company to attribute sales to a “head office” that only existed on paper and could not have generated such profits“, which was a given and the result we saw on a global scale “Apple avoided tax on almost all the profit generated from its multibillion-euro sales of iPhones and other products across the EU’s single market. It booked the profits in Ireland rather than the country in which the product was sold“, gives way that a single market is perhaps not the best solution for all but one nation and in addition to this we must realise that the solution I mentioned 5 years ago to set the tax laws that taxation should be set into the nation of the buying consumers physical location could have avoided this and many other issues. A simple taxation change that made all the difference, yet it seems that no one in legislation in those nations as well as those political players ever considered changing that simple law that could have made all the difference.

You see, as the Guardian by-line offers, this case could have another escalation soon enough “Charlie Harrington, 53, a paramedic in Cork, expressed frustration that the Irish government penalized small taxpayers but seemed ready to protect Apple“, which is exactly how millions feel in both France and Italy. If this tax case caves and Apple ends up not being due this invoice, the jump to anti-EU sentiments will go up massively and very fast so. At that point President Obama will only have himself to thank for the mess he started to create when he went 180 degrees on the corporate tax issues discussed in the ‘The Hague Summit of 2013’. That was the first step that could have avoided a few things, this case being one of them.

Cause and Effect

The question becomes ‘What will happen now?’ This is something not easily answered. At present Apple has a few other issues knocking at its door and the iPhone 7 is one of them. The population at large is less money blessed, so paying $1295 for a new phone that according to Forbes is “Purchasing the iPhone 7 this morning from my local Apple Store I found a device that is remarkably similar to last year’s iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6 from 2014. The external design cues remain, the chips inside are faster, and iOS 10 is more polished but is fundamentally the same operating system. Nothing ‘feels’ news even though the package is professional and projects a revolution that is hard to find“, this is at the heart of the matter. Trying to create waves by limiting the system, whilst overall the system is still the same is an issue and at nearly $1300 a very expensive one. That whilst Android competitors are coming into the field with comparable devices, including a headphone jack at 50%-60% of the price of the iPhone 7 and the world is starting to consider the non-IOS alternative. What Apple should fear is not just the market they are losing, the dangers that people could, in regard to the tax pressures they have and the pressure that Apple seems to be able to avoid, is one that could make them feel frustrated and vindictive. The idea that a person could think ‘If the need not pay taxation, they do not need my business either is not that far a stretch‘. People are starting to see the ethical imbalance that large corporations have impressed upon nations and in Europe where the quality of life is not that great at present, seeking the much cheaper alternative that Huawei and LG are offering is one worth considering. That could bring considerable consequences for Apple soon enough. Now I am not stating that the iPhone 7 will be a flop, but for Apple in this stage, should they lose even as little as a 2% market share, the consequence for apple will be intense to state the least. In addition, the fact that the iPad has remained a success for so long could equally be the next problem child for Apple. In that regard releasing the iPad Pro was a really good idea, yet the tablet contenders are starting to realise what it takes to be a contender and if that knowledge is applied properly, there too non-IOS devices (read: android) could start to make a killing and as such undermine that market Apple has at present. The origin is not the device makers, but Google. As Google has been pushing ‘the year of mobile’ for two years, the shift of usage is also growing. There is a growing visibility that at times the mobile screen does not cut it and it gives more and more opportunity to both Phablet and Tablet. These are all examples showing quite clearly that there is no status quo to rely on and the temporary nature of devices shows that Apple needs to really push forward in an innovative way, preferably before the makers of tablets realise that an affordable 128 GB version of an Android tablet is every bit as appealing as the iPad Pro, especially when the Android version could be a lot less than the IOS edition. With Android having its own set of quality games, Apple has more to lose than they are willing to admit to and time is slowly running out for their streak of ignorance to continue. However, it is important to note that Apple has been pretty super innovative with the iPad pro, so there is still a gap to overcome for the competitors. In that regard it is equally interesting that the Android device market have ignored that side of the consumer’s need (read: desire). In all this, it was about taxation and not on markets. Yet one is linked to the other, mainly because if there is no market there is in equal measure no taxable revenue, which gets us to the final part. You see, I have written about these issues before in one form or another and now we see that the Wall Street Journal is finally waking up to this (at http://www.wsj.com/articles/lew-is-right-on-eu-tax-grab-but-lacks-credibility-1473962171), when we read “The Obama administration has had 92 months to tackle corporate tax reform. Now that Europe is making a grab for taxes on profits held by U.S. companies overseas, President Obama is ready to use his last few months in office to address tax issues that were ignored or made worse under his watch“, my response is that neither was done, as stated in earlier blogs in April 2016, when I wrote ‘Ignoranus Totalicus‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/04/24/ignoranus-totalicus), he refused to act (as voiced by “Senior officials in Washington have made it known“), so the non-actions are now back firing as event are now escalated. Another iteration of status quo.

What now?

This now all related to the issue at hand. IT corporations decided to maximise their profit by a consumer iterative annual approach of products. The IT market in the US nearly collapsed as it allowed for what was once regarded as a Taiwan Clone (a cheap alternative) to a quality A-brand to catch up. This is the problem with iterative thinking, when you are not in a niche market like Northrop Grumman (who at one stage actually there software patches ‘Iteration version’ I believe), you allow the market to catch up with you. ASUS caught up so and soon thereafter surpassed the original market owners. This lesson was not learned and the Telecom market decided that the profit was good in this way. So, please feel free to correct me. What happened to Ericsson and Nokia? Apple came and overwhelmed everyone and instead of truly remaining innovative, they started to largely iterate their device and called it innovation, now that LG, Samsung and Huawei have caught on and pretty much caught up, they are now offering equal, if not better options at lower prices. So how long will it take Apple to learn that status quo is merely an illusion? I reckon will see that revelation close after Christmas, after the annual sales are gone (and they will be improbable but not impossible a bit disappointing this year).

I reckon we will know in about 15-19 weeks!

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Chicks for free

Yup, that is the name of the game, how to get your chicks for free. You can go towards the end seeing what you can pick up from the free handing from the tray that serves the drinks and babes, but the song is not that simple, you see The Dire Strait sang: “Get your money for nothin’ get your chicks for free“. The song refers to doing things for fun, when it is fun, at times it feels like you are not working at all.

In my view the expression has evolved. As I see it, ‘money for nothing‘ is more and more about value for money. Deals that are too good to pass up. Here we now get to the issue at hand. We look at players like Apple (with their iPhone), Google (with their Nexus) and several other players like Nokia, Microsoft, Samsung, LG and a few others, yet the one player many ignored, namely Huawei did what others would not in their iterative field of exploitation. They decided to give the people value for money, not some half-baked offer, but the power offer that the models P7 and Mate7 are bringing. The P7 priced at almost 50% of the old models of most is more than a contender, in addition, the Mate7 offers a massively stronger device than the new models from Samsung, Apple, LG or Nokia can offer, hundreds of dollars cheaper. So now we get to the BBC article (at http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32126628). So the quote “The world’s second biggest telecoms equipment maker said its net profit was 27.9bn yuan ($4.5bn; £3bn), up from 21bn yuan in 2013” is not all about mobile phones, but Huawei is now quickly showing to be the number one choice for consumers and students (consumers, usually lacking in funds) alike. It seems to me that even though there is a decent group with funds that is all about value for money and that group has been ignored by the providers at large, which means that Huawei is now sweeping the nations on a global level. There are two parts in the story, which become a concern.

The first one is “Huawei’s growth comes despite it facing challenges in several major economies. In the US, it was branded a national security threat by legislators, because of its alleged close ties with the Chinese government“. There is no clarity on how precise this quote is (the next one will touch on this). So, if the statement is true, how about OOCL (containers) and Evergreen (Taiwan containers). Are they a security threat? I think it goes further, as some players were sitting on their hands, Huawei has been growing the business globally, now they are ready to get into bed with ‘facilitators’ in a very wide area of business. If we look at the Huawei Tecal servers we see a device that goes beyond simple needs. Its citrix compatibility gives a first view that soon Huawei will be the number one choice for new SaaS solutions, mobile providers of consultancy but from a cloud environment, meaning that these new engineers will be global. They are not ready for the next part yet, the issue is not just the data; it is about the transit mode of data for Huawei. They are now one step away from nibbling at the feet of Cisco. Cisco is comfortable for now, but that could soon change. You see, in 2012 Huawei was not ready for any of it, but they remained quiet for 2 years whilst their consumer market grew, now within a year, if their router solutions are decently shielded, they can move forward.

Now we get the second quote: “Meanwhile, it has been banned from being involved in broadband projects in Australia over espionage fears“. Really? So American solutions are not any kind of espionage fear? I am not judging, it seems to me that either our personal data goes to America or China. The article does not seem to elaborate on this part. This we see in the final quote of the article: “However, the company said it was well positioned to capture business opportunities with heavy investment in innovative areas such as cloud computing and fifth generation (5G) mobile technology“. Personally, I do not think that 5G is anywhere near an option for providers of mobile networking at present in any affordable kind of way, but the cloud is another matter. Whatever next part will be used to get business growing and moving forward will require the cloud. Yet, as I saw it for the last two years, security is just not good enough, not from any provider. That part can be seen in this place: http://2015itss.ucdavis.edu/event/the-weak-link-in-cloud-security-2/, here we see the following: “This session will illustrate and demonstrate that the very collaborative nature of SaaS (Software as a Service), such as Box or Google Apps, may also be their weakness. When organizations adopt cloud applications, users must take care to ensure that the organization’s sensitive cloud data does not end up in the wrong hands“. This is at the core of one of several issues. SaaS is only one part. The adoption and implementation is at the centre of a cloud that could be the fog that keeps us all blind as we lose data towards whatever provider of consultancy requirements were miscommunicated too. What a weak data web we weave for ourselves!

This event in June 2015 shows several more issues that we all in business need to consider as we are at times decently in the dark of that what must happen and that what needed to be done. The reality is that Huawei is not even a factor here, this all becomes an issue in any implementation. So why is there no clearer broadband issue? Is there truly a Chinese espionage fear, or are some players too dependent on whatever solution SaaS offers and in this stride, data leakage will be an issue from day one, whether the owner of the solution is Chinese or other. What is without a doubt is that Huawei is making massive strides, they are doing it in places where they were not a consideration 6 months ago! So what is wrong with the picture I am showing you?

I am not showing you any picture, but I am implying that the other big players (all American) are currently losing out on business, on revenue and on profit.

I wonder how the Dow will take it!

 

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Trolls are real

No, this is not an episode of Grimm, where we see the Hässlich as they collect their fee. This is not the case of David Giuntoli, beheading reapers and taking care of the trolls. This is today, the trolls are real and the fee goes up by hundreds of millions. This is the case of SMARTFLASH LLC, et al. v. APPLE, INC., et al. The article was from Cnet, but I got wind of it through EpicTimes. All this got to blows not because of the amount, but because this issue has been allowed to fester for well over two decades. The issue takes a legal leap into the unknown, which is still unmanaged at present. The questions that we have to pose is in two parts.

  1. Is this a festering scene?

You see, it is nice for Apple to cry wolf, but is it a valid scene of the crying?  The fact is that Smartflash LLC has 7 patents, the first one filed Oct 25, 2000, with a Foreign Application Priority date (UK) of Nov 25th 1999, and this makes it a patent that was filed before the initial release of Apple’s iTunes, which was January 9th, 2001.

The Apple response we see (at http://www.cnet.com/news/apple-ordered-to-pay-533-million-over-alleged-itunes-patent-infringement/)

“Smartflash makes no products, has no employees, creates no jobs, has no U.S. presence, and is exploiting our patent system to seek royalties for technology Apple invented. We refused to pay off this company for the ideas our employees spent years innovating and unfortunately we have been left with no choice but to take this fight up through the court system”, so let’s take a look at the slightly empty response as I see it:

Makes no products‘, is not a prerequisite for a patent;

Has no employees‘, is also not an issue, someone filed for this case and someone filed for a patent. Whether this is an employee is not an issue;

Exploiting our patent system to seek royalties for technology Apple invented‘, is slightly moot. The patent was filed before iTunes existed, hence, we could argue that Apple did not invent what they did, the latter statement is an incorrect one, but I will return to this.

Now let me rephrase the Apple statement in a very unflattering way: “Smartflash had an original idea, the idea was not novel because this is the direction the world was moving to”. This notion was a clear given ever since day two that Napster got active. The people understanding these technologies would innovate and come up with ideas. Unlike me, who  was a Patent Virgin in 1999 (and unaware of the power they hold) would see that the future is all about IP, so some of these people would file the ideas and they would stick. Now we see that Apple might have reinvented the wheel, but reinvention is no invention at all. It becomes a license and Smartflash LLC only had to wait for their chooks to grow and grow. Now pay day has arrived.

So as we go back to the initial part, questions come to mind. Questions many (including Apple) might not want an answer to, because the answer might be a lot scarier than we all imagine. You see, in previous blogs I discussed the dangers of a faltering and collapsing economy, because those in charge remained too flaccid to actually act on issues. The consequence is that if a monetary system collapses, what will replace it? In my view, the new currency for any corporation and government is Intellectual Property. If that is true, than those who own the property will become the new true wealth.

This makes Patrick Racz a visionary of massive fortune, if we see the first fee that Apple will end up paying, what will happen to the next step? What will the Samsung invoice become? Beyond that, Apple now has a choice to make, the entire DRM future is now no longer in the hands of the large industrials, so that coin will be making massive waves soon enough.

So where is the festering part? Well, Patent Trolls are not a new group. This ‘valid’ group has existed since the early 90’s. So over the last two decades, this groups had not been dealt with. The valid question becomes, should Patent Trolls be dealt with? You see, patents get bought all the time, someone goes bankrupt, the patent is bought, perhaps sold by a bank trying to limit its losses. This market evolved, because the issue as is, is that corporate ‘losses’ due to patent trolling has been exceeding 20 billion a year from 2010 onwards. So, why not act against trolling?

The question becomes is it wrong to be a troll? The Hässlich might disagree if we say yes. The fact is that those with the novel idea, might not have the means to pursue the real deal. So they might want to file their original idea. To give you an example, which you might not believe, is that I came up with the idea around 1994. Now, it could be seen as a DPod (Data Pod), my idea was not in that direction, you see. In my past I was confronted with the ‘joke’, that was known as a tape streamer. It was a backup solution that never properly worked in households. So I had the idea to make the Minidisc a backup device. To connect it to computers, so that we could copy files, the Minidisc looked like a 3.5″ floppy, but could hold hundreds of megabytes. It could have evolved the need for diskettes and it would have propelled data halve a decade earlier. I would have been decently wealthy. So, I should have patented the idea (although, in those days I did not realise I could). So as such, Patrick Racz was the clever one. Yet, in view of all this, did Apple lag? That becomes the cornerstone in all this. Does it matter? Is a more apt question. A patent was filed, Apple did not do its homework as I see it a cost comes into play.

So now we get a new issue, will Apple et al ‘force’ a change in patenting? Will capping be imposed? All decent questions that are for tomorrow. For today, Apple gets to admire its own armour, which is not as shiny as it was yesterday. I must however state, that I personally do not think that Apple did anything wrong. Now I return to the initial exploiting part I promised to revisit. They came up with an idea and they designed it. In 1370, a Dutchman named Laurens Janszoon Coster came up with an idea, it was the printing press. He came up with the idea around the same time Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg came up with the same idea. They both had similar (not identical) ideas in a time when the need for a cheaper solution was needed. The Dutch and the Germans all state that their citizen discovered the idea, which is fair enough. I think that this is a similar situation. In all fairness it seems to me that the patent system did not allow for such a situation, it does not make it right or wrong, the situation just is. In a land (US) where it is all about number one, it must now bite that this patent is in hands of a non-American. So as we realise that any system is flawed, is it flawed enough? If patents are about innovation, are the little people the solution? I have always believed that true innovation will survive, big companies will need to consider the age old situation, having the person with the ‘nice’ PowerPoint, does not mean that they have the innovation.

  1. Is it unmanaged?

Like any legal system, the Patent system is good, but is it good enough? This one case is calling for visibility, but one case does not a change make. If we go back to 2013 we see the following in Forbes (at http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddhixon/2013/10/04/for-most-small-companies-patents-are-just-about-worthless/). “But, TechCo will need to use a lot of other technology to build and deliver a complete product, e.g., the product design might be protected by a patent, but the manufacturing process might be subject to another company’s “blocking” patent“. Here is the kicker, there has been a lot of noise on how large corporations have the ability to block others. If we accept Business Insider (at http://www.businessinsider.com.au/chart-of-the-day-the-totally-useless-patent-wars-2014-10) “In other words, based on patent cases brought to court by Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Nokia, Motorola, and a host of others, litigation is, more often than not, a serious waste of time and money for all parties involved“. The question is, should the system change? Because these big boys are in disagreement, does not mean that the system should just fall away. Are these patent cases valid to begin with? If we look at the quote “As it turns out, only 20 or the 222 patent assertions (9%) were able to establish liability, but even in that small sample, only 10 of those 20 cases resulted in “lasting injunctive relief.” Mueller says that number would be even smaller if “the patents underlying Nokia’s German injunctions against HTC had come to judgment in the Federal Patent Court.”“. My question is that if the numbers are this skewed, why take it to court in the first place? What was the tactic behind it? Delay? A mere pissing contest or was this about satisfying the need for additional costs? I have no idea, but the result data speaks for itself. Is the score so impressive that pursuing a 10% chance is essential, worth the effort or it is something else?

I do not proclaim to have the answer, but the questions are not getting asked, moreover, the press at large have all quoted Apple on their ‘indignation’, but answer me this, how many papers gave any view, brought any decent quotes from Brad Caldwell apart from the one liner victory? In addition, when we see Reuters (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/25/us-ip-apple-verdict-idUSKBN0LT0E720150225), the quote “Apple, which said it would appeal, said the outcome was another reason reform was needed in the patent system to curb litigation by companies that don’t make products themselves“, that sounds nice in theory, but that leaves only the large companies in charge of it all, it takes out the small innovators whilst large corporations are left choking those small innovators for a mere tuppence to get complete control. Patents were never designed to give power to the manufacturers, they were an exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for detailed public disclosure of an invention. However, as the world became all about shore term goals and iterative exploitation, in that regard patents are a massive impropriety to the need of large corporations.

Time will tell what direction the legal industry makes, for now, as Apple and Google are so about non tax accountability, the danger of actual change remains not too large (only for now).

 

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